• Wed, Jan 22 - 9:14 am ET

Powerful Domestic Violence PSA Uses Makeup To Show The Cycle Of Abuse

domestic violence

A powerful new domestic violence PSA does an excellent job of showing how abuse has ranging effects far surpassing the victim and abuser. Frauenzentrale Zürich, a Swiss non profit that aims to empower women to live independently, released “Lea,” which depicts the daughter of an abused woman attempting to emulate her mom by putting on a makeup black eye. It’s a poignant reminder of how entire families and communities are affected by abuse.

I had a knot in my stomach from the moment that little girl put on her mom’s heels, and it was a completely relatable, striking image. I think most children idolize their parents when they’re young, and try to walk in their footsteps (I remember wearing my mom’s shoes and my dad’s ties so that I could be a “business lady”).

I think the use of makeup in domestic violence campaigns is especially interesting. It’s been a popular theme in ads like these, and effectively exposes the multiple ways that women have of hiding their abuse. I like that this ad turns that paradigm on its head and uses makeup to show abuse, and the use of the kid is effectively jarring.

The cycle of abuse is real. It’s not something that was made up for rhetorical purposes. In fact, about one-third of individuals who were abused or neglected will continue the pattern on their own children–that number is staggering. It’s not a secret that children who grow up in households with violence are more likely to seek that out in their own adults lives. We need to keep in mind that when we talk about domestic abuse, we aren’t just talking about one victim, and this PSA is an effective reminder.

Photo: Youtube // [h/t Buzzfeed]

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  • Kaitlin Reilly

    There have been so many really powerful domestic abuse ads lately (I like the Kiera Knightley one as well). This is so, so sad.

  • Lindsey Conklin

    WOW. seriously chills.

  • CrazyLogic

    The use of “Mad World” was a nice touch too.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      This is the third PSA I’ve seen use Mad World recently, and they weren’t connected at all. Weird. I love the song, but this is the only one I’ve seen where it seems to fit.

    • CrazyLogic

      I could see it being used for an addiction or a mental illness PSA too.

    • Sarah!

      So weird, I watched this with the sound off because I’m at work and that’s the song I imagined playing over the ad. Good fit, I guess?